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Cultural Institutes Abroad in the 21st Century: The Case of the Korean Cultural Centre UK

Yoon, H. ORCID: 0000-0001-5679-3335 & Vlachos, P. (2023). Cultural Institutes Abroad in the 21st Century: The Case of the Korean Cultural Centre UK. International Journal of Arts Management, 25(2),


South Korea’s global network of politically arms-length Korean Cultural Centres (KCCs) represents and interesting divergence from the dominant neo-liberal cultural practices of recent decades which give preference to market-led rather than policy-led curatorial decision-making. Operating alongside the global commercial success of K-pop and the broader Korean Wave, KCCs play an active, hitherto under-investigated, role in the promotion of Korean culture abroad. The present paper draws on a case study of the Korean Cultural Centre UK (KCCUK) to explore the ways in which cultural institutes abroad in the 21st century engage in cross-cultural collaborations with local partners such as venues, artists, curators, media, and audiences. We used field observations, interviews, and an audience survey (total n=101) to analyse 54 collaborative events between the KCCUK and the UK partners over an eighteen-month season in 2017-18. Our findings show that “Ambiguities”, “Challenges”, and “Tensions” are recurring themes arising from cultural and managerial differences and future cross-cultural collaborations need to pay extra attention to these three areas. The teaching notes provide detailed instructions for designing a session for undergraduate level students.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: This article has been published in International Journal of Arts Management and it's available online at:
Publisher Keywords: cultural institute, cross-cultural collaboration, soft power, Korean culture, audience, diversity
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
Departments: School of Communication & Creativity
School of Communication & Creativity > Media, Culture & Creative Industries
SWORD Depositor:
[thumbnail of Cultural Institutes in the 21st Century KCCUK (Accepted version).pdf] Text - Accepted Version
This document is not freely accessible due to copyright restrictions.


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